Dick’s Sporting Goods and Just Women’s Sports is making March Madness for women’s college basketball fans a bit more lucrative.
The retailer and the women’s sports multimedia platform have teamed up to offer a grand prize of $150,000 to the winner of the 2022 Just Women’s Sports x Dick’s Bracket Challenge. With the challenge, DSG and JWS said they are aiming to give fans “an accessible and exciting destination with news and analysis to help make predictions and compete among friends.”
“We’re not interested in sponsorships from a traditional standpoint where we’re just getting media value or logo placement. We want our dollars to work toward truly benefiting athletes and changing the culture or excitement around the sport,” Dick’s Sporting Goods VP of global brand and category marketing Melissa Christian told FN. “One of our first calls with JWS was about college basketball, and we had a shared passion around brackets. Brackets are a huge part of the culture and excitement around this specific moment, and we thought what an awesome opportunity — but it’s hard to find information about past women’s brackets because they either haven’t existed or they haven’t had the capital in terms of a prize to drive excitement around them. Together, we could change that.”
To participate, fans can register starting today on Justwomenssports.com, and on March 13, selections can be made once the tournament teams have been announced. The brackets will close on March 18 at 12 p.m. ET, and aside from funding the $150,000 grand prize, the two companies confirmed that there will be $250 DSG gift cards awarded for the second-place winner down through 11th place.
“What we’re trying to do with Just Women’s Sports is challenge the way people see women’s sports. We want to go big, we want to push this space, we want to push the culture and that’s also what Dick’s Sporting Goods is about,” Just Women’s Sports founder and CEO Haley Rosen told FN. “They want to take big bets and big swings, and that’s what this space needs, so they’re exactly the type of partner that we want for this.”
Although this is their first women’s college basketball bracket challenge, both DSG and JWS are aligned in their desire for this to lead to something bigger, with the women’s game as the beneficiary.
“Women’s college basketball has an awesome fanbase and we want to broaden it, we want to grow it. When we think about brackets in particular, when you fill out your bracket, you’re all of a sudden personally invested in the games and the matchups and the outcomes. As we thought about how do we bring more fans into the game, how do we get more people to see the awesome athleticism and the incredible competition then by really giving them a way to get personally invested,” Christian said. “We believe in what JWS is doing as a brand and we want to create an awesome experience for fans and hopefully new fans of women hoops.”
Rosen added, “A big goal in everything that we do is we want to make it easy to be a women’s sports fan. It’s really easy to be a men’s sports fan. You see the game, you know the storylines and there’s a whole culture around the game. I think this bracket challenge, teaming up with Dick’s Sporting Goods, is really about the game around the game and that culture. It’s fun to follow March Madness because you see the athletes and maybe you’re in a pool, you have your bracket challenge, you’re getting together for Final Four games. Let’s build that on the women’s side.”